I write a lot about college, but I also have a lot of advice for high school students. I have made similar posts about what I wish I had known before coming to college, but this one is a little different. In this post, instead of explaining things I wish I had known, I am going to explain 8 things I wish I had done differently while in high school!
1. Taken more AP classes
Ap classes count for serious credit at most universities. AP credits can actually save a lot of time and money once you are in college. I did take a few AP courses, but I wish I had taken more and put more effort/time into them. The hard work in high school definitely pays off when you don’t have to take the class again in college!
2. Joined clubs earlier
By the end of my senior year I was on two exec boards for school clubs, but I definitely didn’t start my high school career at that involvement level. It took me about a year before I became seriously involved in clubs, and I really wish I would have started earlier. Clubs are obviously a good thing to put on a college application, but they also provide you with people to meet, learning experiences, and they are fun!
3. Spent more time with family
Okay, so I was totally the person who wanted to spend every waking moment of the weekend with friends. But, I wish I had also spent some of that time hanging out with my family. Once you go off to college, you probably won’t see your family nearly as often as you did when you were in high school. I wish I had appreciated the time more with my family when I was living at home.
4. Built a better relationship with teachers/references
I wish I had spent more time getting to know my high school teachers. There were a few teachers who I really clicked with and I still keep in email contact with them, even two years after graduating. Teachers from high school are fun to catch up with and can actually offer some good life advice! Beyond that, developing a connection with teachers is good because they can serve as references for college apps or even jobs in the future!
5. Saved more money
I had my first part time job in high school, and to be honest I really didn’t have that much responsibility to pay for things. I feel like I spent so much money carelessly on eating out, clothes, and just random nights with friends. Had I been a little more careful with my spending of money in high school I would have had more spending money now.
6. Spent more time with friends
It’s sad, but inevitable that friends grow apart once everyone goes off to college. While some friendships strengthen with time and distance, most do not unfortunately. I wish I had spent more time with my high school friends when we all still lived in the same city and went to the same school. Even if you keep in touch with people from high school, it is a lot harder to coordinate get-togethers because everyone has a different school schedule.
7. Stressed less about the future and college majors
I always thought I had to have everything figured out by the time I was in college. I always felt like that one person in high school who had no clue what they wanted to major in for college, while all of my friends had their future careers already figured out. Once I arrived at college I realized that most people actually don’t have that great of an idea of what they want to do. A lot of people change majors and that’s totally okay. I wish I wouldn’t have stressed as much about not knowing what I wanted to do with my life (I actually still don’t really know, and I’m in my second year of college.)
8. Not cared about my reputation as much
Honestly once you get to college, no one really cares who you were in high school. Once you move to a school of one, three, ten (or fifty, in my case) thousand students, it doesn’t matter who you were in high school, you’re basically starting over. Just remember that who you were in high school probably won’t matter once you go off to college.